Even as they celebrated last week’s quasi-victory against clandestine, corporate trade deals, civil society groups warned the fight over Fast Track was not over.
They were right.
Indeed, Friday’s defeat of Fast Track, or trade promotion authority, could be reversed as early as this week, with the U.S. House of Representatives reportedly considering a number of options for reviving the legislation. As Bill Moyers and Bernard Weisberger wrote in an op-ed published Monday at Common Dreams, Friday’s vote was “only Round One.”
“The unholy trio of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who has vowed to keep any of Obama’s nominees from being confirmed), Speaker of the House John Boehner (who has thwarted just about every Democratic legislative proposal of the past several years), and President Obama (a Democrat, in case you are having trouble remembering) are as one in a desperate effort to rescue their Frankenstein-like creation,” Moyers and Weisberger wrote.
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Congressional rules required that the House approve both Fast Track and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in order for the overall trade package to move forward as it did in the Senate. Thus, Friday’s overwhelming “No” vote on TAA—which went down 126-302—meant defeat for those angling to hand over trade negotiating power from Congress to President Barack Obama.
Many Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), voted against TAA in an express effort to derail Fast Track.
Writing for Electronic Frontier Foundation, Maira Sutton described the outcome as “a strong signal that even these powerful interests and politicians could not outdo the massive popular opposition that we have all demonstrated against Fast Track and backroom corporate deals.”
But some warn that such opposition risks being overcome by procedural gimmicks. As Sutton further explained:
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